- Greater Los Angeles,
- North America,
- United States
I am planing to see Grauman's Chinese Theater, Hollywood Walk of Fame, Farmers market, The Grove, Santa Monica City, Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive, Bel Air, Sunset Strip, West Los Angeles, UCLA,
The Ivy, California
West Hollywood, California 90048
Tel: 310 274 8303
More stage than restaurant, this is where the stars go when they want to be seen making deals, making friends, or breaking up. Paparazzi have permanent posts outside, ready to capture our celebrity friends after a grueling day of shopping at nearby boutiques. Cutesy decorruffly curtains, girly flower printsserves as proof that money can't buy taste, so ask to sit outside, which is where the action is anyway. The menubland American comfort food like burgers, salads, and crab cakescan seem as much of an afterthought as one of J. Lo's marriages.
Beverly Hills, California 90212
Tel: 310 276 8500
The steakhouse scene has been multiplying at a fast clip in L.A., but few are as exclusive—or pricey—as CUT. Chances are pretty good you'll be dining in the vicinity of A-listers, agents, and studio honchos, but celebrity Chef Wolfgang Puck makes sure the beef is the star at this sleek Richard Meier–designed restaurant in the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. All the steaks, including a fantastic Japanese Wagyu, are first seared over a hardwood and charcoal grill to seal in the juices, then finished in a 1,200-degree broiler for results that are indecently juicy. Sides are fairly standard—creamed spinach, potatoes gratin, tempura onion rings—and are served à la carte. You'll have to pay extra for the sauces, too, which seems a touch penurious given the markup on the meat. But just consider it the price of admission to this celeb-studded hangout.
Open daily 5:30 to 10 pm.
Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, California
Los Angeles, California 90028
Tel: 800 950 7667 (toll-free), Tel: 323 466 7000
The buzz was considerable in 2005 when Thompson Hotels took over this landmark Mediterranean-style hotel, where the first Academy Awards ceremony was held in 1929. One reason: The 300 rooms and suites were redesigned by Dodd Mitchell—L.A.'s pet designer for the last decade. The other reason: The poolside Tropicana Bar and interior club Teddy's were taken over by nightlife impresario Amanda Demme, and quickly became the hottest spots in town. But though the marriage with Demme ended in a high-profile divorce in spring of 2006, the hotel still has plenty to recommend it. Mitchell's decor in the main hotel, as well as in a newer, separate building that surrounds the pool, is undeniably chic: Beds have draped-fabric headboards that look like Roman shades; the streamlined furnishings in shades of taupe and black seem both brand-new and retro; framed photographs of celebrities hang on the walls; and cement showers (a Mitchell trademark) are in some of the bathrooms. Lower-floor units have patios that open onto the pool, while upper floors have balconies with tables and chairs. The nightlife scene has cooled; while Teddy's is still filled with young Hollywood starlets, the Tropicana has quieted into a romantic, relaxed place for drinks.
Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, California
Los Angeles, California 90048
Tel: 310 273 2222, Fax: 310 859 3824
A straw-yellow, 16-story high-rise accented with white balconies, the Four Seasons looks less like a hotel and more like one of the apartment buildings that surround it. Inside, though, it's all luxury. Rooms are decorated traditional Four Seasons–style, with rich fabrics in florals and stripes; sunlight pours through French doors that open onto Juliet balconies. The views from the fifth floor on up are spectacular, ranging from the jewel-box lights of the Hollywood Hills to panoramic city views. The fourth-floor spa and pool area is one of L.A.'s prettiest: The tiered pool is ringed by shrubs and flowers, and the green-and-white-striped cabanas are outfitted with plasma TVs, Wi-Fi, and mini-refrigerators. Downstairs, the lobby opens onto a lush garden, where the hotel's Culina Italian restaurant has a discreet patio set among the greenery. During awards season, the bar overflows with recognizable faces, but star sightings (yes, that is John Malkovich having dinner) are common year-round.
The Beverly Wilshire, California
Beverly Hills, California 90212
Tel: 800 427 4354 (toll-free), Tel: 310 275 5200
This historic landmark at the foot of Rodeo Drive has recently reverted to its original name (for the past 21 years, it was known as the "Regent Beverly Wilshire"). It was given a massive transformation a couple of years back, adding a spa with blue glass sinks and dramatic light effects (even the steam room has electric "stars" on the ceiling), six poolside cabanas with plasma TVs and iPods, and two stunning see-and-be-seen spots—CUT, a Wolfgang Puck steak restaurant designed by Richard Meier (where celebs like Jennifer Aniston, Vince Vaughn, and Brangelina have dropped in—though probably not at the same time), and Sidebar, the lounge across the entry-way. Facing Wilshire Boulevard, with a few outdoor tables on the sidewalk, is Blvd, the chic-casual dining restaurant with a 180-foot-long onyx bar. The 395 luxurious hotel rooms have butterscotch-colored leather headboards on the beds, and dark-wood furniture.
The Avalon, California
Beverly Hills, California 90212
Tel: 310 277 5221
The first and least flashy of the Viceroy Hotel Group's hotels, the 84-room Avalon has a classic main building that epitomized the California Dream of the '50s and '60s. Marilyn Monroe once lived here briefly, and the sun-splashed terraces and balconies overlooked a shimmering pool where beautiful young things lounged in bikinis. These days, the Avalon also includes two newer buildings, and the property's style is a hip homage to mid-century-modern style. Plush beds and modern amenities like CD and DVD players mix with original and reproduction pieces from that era's best-known designers (George Nelson, Noguchi, Eames). The young and fabulous can still be found here around the hourglass-shaped pool—these days, dining and sipping cocktails at the Blue on Blue restaurant.
The Beverly Hills Hotel and Bungalows, California
Beverly Hills, California 90210
Tel: 800 283 8885 (toll-free), Tel: 310 276 2251
The legendary "Pink Palace" opened in 1912, and the city of Beverly Hills literally grew around it. Today, the landmark Spanish Colonial building, still painted a garish Pepto-Bismol pink, sits on 12 acres of landscaped grounds filled with palms, banana plants, azaleas, and bougainvillea. Discreetly dotted about are the bungalows where stars like Elizabeth Taylor have from time to time taken up residence (she honeymooned with six of her husbands here). Phones are no longer carried by staffers to the booths of the Polo Lounge—sadly, cell phones have replaced that glamorous practice. Still, the chaise-surrounded pool, where Hollywood hopefuls once paid to have themselves paged in hopes of being noticed, still looks like the place where a young Marlene Dietrich used to lounge. (She would have liked the modern-day private treatment cabanas of the La Prairie spa.) Another sign of the times? The hotel's time-honored tearoom has recently been revamped into the swank Bar Nineteen 12, a stylish watering hole filled with beautiful people and young industry types. The 204 rooms, which differ in size and shape, are all furnished in plush, classic style, many with four-poster beds and marble-and-granite bathrooms with TVs. The 21 bungalows have fireplaces, separate living rooms, and dining rooms; some have pianos or treadmills. The one to book, though, is Bungalow 5, with its own private lap pool.